Ethics are important in every aspect of our lives because they define the society in which we live in. Ethics are all about being able to define what is right and what is wrong in the society. Ethics are well put in theory and putting them into practice becomes complicated because the situations that individuals face at times requiring them to apply ethics are complicated. All the same it also involves learning what they are and how they can be applied. The world we live in keeps evolving everyday and this brings a complication in ethical issues. The economy, politics and society are to be blamed for the complication in the ethical issues because they have also become so complicated with time, not forgetting the environment accompanied by the regulations set by the federal government (Carr, 2003).
Business ethics are put in place so that they can help and guide the people who are in the business world. Business ethics are not so different from the social ethics which we apply in our personal lives. The ethics and values of business help in the making of decisions in the business world. However, business sector has recorded a high number of unethical behaviors. However, the government also plays a big role in business. The government has recently put laws that are based on policies of ethical issues. The government is putting a lot of pressure to the schools that offer business courses to teach business ethics. The government is doing this with an aim of ensuring that the students who are coming from colleges and universities have sound knowledge of the principles that are involved in the business ethics (Arlow and Ulrich, 2000). This way students can graduate with skills that enable them to critically analyze business situations and be in a position to make decisions that are rightly based on ethics.
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Majority of people define business ethics according to what they justify to be right and wrong. However, business ethics have to be defined and the following standards have been set in order to define what business ethics are. A business is supposed to respect the right that is bestowed to the people. It should act in accordance to the laws of the United States. A business is supposed to be operated with honesty in order to get rid of bias. Ethical issues further concern the compensating of employees when need arise for compensation.
Business ethics should also offer employees security for the jobs that they are doing. They also involve the management of waste issues (Begley and Boyd, 2001). Business ethics should also address and take responsibility of the pollution that business causes. Most of the times business has interests that are conflicting due to the competition in the business market or world. Ethical issues tend to conflict with the self interest that people have on business. In the United States some of the corporations that are large are known to defy the business ethics that are laid down by the government. Illegal operations of the business involve the stakeholders in deception in form of fraud and also the way that they do their hiring for the jobs, is said to done in an unfair way.
The government in 1991 set rules that the corporate business organization were to stand by. This forced the corporate business organizations to set standards of the ethics that they were to abide by. This was all based on the employees. This way the employees would be monitored, especially those who went against the company ethics. The government has shown commitment by ensuring that it has funded research to be done on the programs that concern the compliance of corporate business. The importance of conducting this research is to assist businesses to conduct their own studies so that they can be in a position to build up on their own ethics and also train their employees on ethics and courses that are closely related to business.
This helps them to apply such policies when employees violate the laid down individual ethics. The federal government made it clear that in the event that a business goes against the laws that are laid down by the government; which are focused on the surrounding that we live in, the safety exhibited at the place of work and unfairness. However, in such circumstances the government makes sure that they first check, if the measures to prevent the occurrence of the violation are in place. If they were in place and the prosecution was to go through, the company is only fined a very little amount of money.
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Since businesses have become modern, advancement in technology cannot be left out when globalization is being integrated in this subject of ethical issues. With globalization challenges have come up thus pushing businesses to encounter limitation as far as growth of the companies is concerned. This also places a hindrance in the level of profits that companies make. Majority of companies are known to use ethical issues as a factor to enable them get recognition in the global markets. The recognition in the global market is enhanced by the support that they get from the public. This recognition also enhances the global competition thus placing under a lot of strains on corporations that are held in various countries.
Technology has enabled e- business which is in a crisis as far as business ethics are concerned. This is because most of the Americans spend a lot time communicating online to their friends and doing business too. Through technology people have been able to diverge cultures by advancing them since the ways of life have become complicated. As much as people use it for all the good reasons there are others that use it to harm people in the society by using it recklessly. Some of these activities include acts of terrorism which have a negative impact to the people in the society. The people who are involved in the commit of terrorism use the ethical implications of their religion to justify their actions and hence religion cannot be left out when ethical issues are being discussed. Cyber terrorism is the most common crime which easily brings business crumbling down the moment their system gets hacked into. Either way they still affect the business corporations in America.
Business should be done in the right manner so that the stakeholders and the employees can be able to benefit from the good work and growth of the companies. For example, the case of Enron, the executives to the company decided to carry out issues unethically by making themselves rich with the effort that the employees had put in, not forgetting the holders of stocks to the company. The government is to blame for some of the happenings because it is known to bend some of the rules for various companies especially if the companies have a connection with the government.
The auditors were also involved in the saga and this showed a high level of malpractice by the audit firms. However even though people got to lose their contribution in the Enron saga other companies such as Tyco and WorldCom were unveiled and this made the stockholders to be alert. In the business magazines and newspapers, companies continued to be listed with the accusation of carrying out behavior that is unacceptable by law and also unethical. The American people have lost faith about the ethical standards of the American corporations. Facts and research carried have shown that majority of Americans have become so greedy such that they are no longer applying ethics when conducting business.
The young people in America do not seem to have ethics in their mind when they are conducting business. Some of the unethical behaviors conducted by the employees are blamed on the supervisors who give them a lot of pressure to perform. Blame for the unethical behavior is placed on schools of business for not being capable to impact or teach ethics to the graduates. Another issue is the implications that, majority of students apply moral codes that they have while making decisions about challenging situations. The corporations have a major role to play in ensuring that ethics are applied to ensure professionalism in the corporations of America. The corporations are said to be responsible by improving the way they conduct their businesses so that they can be successful. The corporations have to ensure that they pay their employees good salaries so that they do not embezzle the customers.
The smaller corporations are accused for the rising unethical behavior because of the management and the ownership of the company. This affects decision making because in comparison to a large organization the management team does its work efficiently since there is no interference by the owners (Fritzsche and Becker, 2003). Decision making is the most important thing in the corporate America and the whole globe, since one decision leads to another. Being ethical or unethical is a reason that individuals in companies make due to their own interests. Corporations have to ensure that employees are in agreement with the rules of conduct of the company. They have also to make room for seminars which employees should attend in order to know the requirements of the law pertaining conduct. Business companies have corporate social responsibility so that they can get the public to get interested in what the companies are all about.
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Corporate social responsibility ensures that companies put into consideration the environmental issues. Companies also need to know effective ways of taking risks. The corporate businesses should support workers to join the workers union. Executives to corporate companies have the role of making sure that the returns are maximized so that the shareholders can benefit. This way the society also benefits. However this is not termed as a corporate social responsibility. That is why they should work on creating products that the public want.
Sometimes executives of a company are not aware of the unethical behaviors conducted by their companies and either way they are held responsible for the misconduct. Lawsuits are very expensive and bad for the reputation of a company and sometimes they can lead to the down fall of large corporations. Hiring employees after scandals of unethical behaviors makes companies to face a challenge because they tend to be very careful on the people they tend to bring on board. Following a study conducted on students who were taking business as a course and the students who are in the school of humanities, study showed that those who were studying business displayed high results in the display of the ethics compared to the humanities students. Even among the students who take accounting, finance and economics, the business students still showed to have a conviction for ethics that was strong.
About the environmental issues there are companies that are known to pollute the environment that we are living in. Some of these companies have to be sued by the victims of the harmful emission so that they can take responsibility for the pollution. Pollution should be prevented by ensuring that there is re-use of materials and recycling of the same. Also wastes should be reduced. Being in a position to reduce waste ensures that companies save money. The corporations are greatly blamed for the global warming. They are now paying a big price for the negative impact that they have caused to the world. So that the environment can be reconstructed to enable a fair weather that will support the health of people in the country (Lund, 2000).
Ethical integrity is about the consequences that befall in the event that an unethical behavior has been conducted. Sometimes the race that one comes from defines ethical issues as well as the cultural background that one descends from. However the status of the socio economy also determines the degree to which people are going to apply ethics as they struggle to get means to live by. For example, Tiger Woods is said to compromise his ethical integrity by the immoral act that he was caught in. He owes a responsibility to his fans and children who see him as a role model. The business companies that endorse Tiger Woods are at a point of losing in the sales market if the image of Tiger Woods continues to become undesirable to the sales of the companies in the prospect. The immorality displayed by Tiger Woods cost him sponsors and also the companies that had him signed faced a setback when the whole saga came to the attention of the media.
Ethical integrity does not allow businesses to use advertising that is misleading in order to make high sales while they really know that they are lying to the customers. The companies should be able to carry out research in the market so that they can perfect their products because either way the truth always comes out and it costs the company more because the reputation goes down. Employees also risk losing their jobs and the dependency levels become high.
Distribution of information is now taking place in America so that the public is well educated regarding issues to do with ethics. Both the collection and handling of information is enabled by the fact majority of people own computers. This way people become intelligent by being able to know what they need to keep them off from fraud. Seeking information ensures that criminals can be uncovered. It keeps companies alert on by being on the right side of the regulations because investors need accurate information. Business corporations have been known to window dress the books of accounts when they have not made profits.
This continues and finally stakeholders learn when it is too late after their capital has been liquidated by the executives. This places so many companies under receivership and this has made the Americans to stop investing since even the audit companies are displaying unethical behaviors in their cooperation. Such co -operations should be closed by the government or get fined heavily for their misconduct to prevent other companies from doing such an act. The need for shortcuts is what is making the corporations indulge is unethical behaviors. All in all blame should be put in the society because from childhood, children need to be taught what is right and wrong. The individual moral ethics do not fall far from the code of ethics that corporations operate from (Gunter, 2004).